“The job of the Justice Department in making decisions of law is not to back any administration, previous or present. Our job is to represent the American people,” Garland told the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“And our job in doing so is to ensure adherence to the rule of law, which is the fundamental requirement of a democracy or a republic or a representative democracy,” he added. “And the essence of the rule of law is what I said when I accepted the nomination for attorney general. It is that like cases be treated alike, that there not the one rule for Democrats and another for Republicans, that there not be one rule for friends and another for foes.”
Garland acknowledges he is aware of the criticism around those decisions and that “it is not always easy to apply that rule.”
“In every case the job of the Justice Department is to make the best judgment it can as to what the law requires. Now matters of policy of course are completely different,” he said. “That explains why we have reversed policies of the previous administration many times over the last three months, and why we have initiated our own policies that are distinctly different from those of the previous administration.”
This story is breaking and will be updated.